Thursday, June 28, 2012

To join or not to join...

I've been debating whether there are sufficient benefits to memberships in groups like the Potters Council, etc. to warrant the costs. I was a member of some national group a while back, let it lapse. I also used to take Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated and Clay Times. I've let them go by the wayside also.

I rather liked the magazines that had how-to articles, miss them but do have the ability to go on-line and look at pretty much anything I'd like. However, there's nothing like the tactile experience of opening a paper magazine... while sitting on the throne <g> or while eating... I even read in the shower. Can't take a computer into the bathtub when soaking in those bubbles either.

Curious as to who is taking what magazine, whether you're in a group (aside from local art groups), what your thoughts are. Has it helped? Why are you in the group?

I'm in two local arts groups, one I started partially 'cause the local art group raised their noses at the idea of "clay" as a fine art... but also 'cause I saw the need for an art group that would focus on the business side of the arts (hence,, Fine Arts And Crafts Entrepreneurs).

So, share, spill, lemme know what, when, why... I'm staring at a screen on my other computer that's open to Potters Council membership at $52 a year...

Had an idea

I had the idea that I'd start an idea book. Hmmm, have you ever typed or written a word and had it look really weird? I just typed "idea" three times (title & twice in blog) and it zipped right over into weird word territory.

Don't want to take that sidetrack (something that happens very easily when you have a mind like mine)...idea is not a weird word, it's not a weird word...

For years and years I've filled my brain with ideas of things I wanted to do in the studio --- ways to add feet to pieces, glaze combinations, structures and so on. Sometimes I'd go into the studio and so many ideas would be crowding and fighting in my brain that I couldn't do anything! Many ideas have gotten lost by the time I made it to the studio, too.

Also, over the years, I've been collecting these cool blank books. I would see one that was pretty, interesting or touched me somehow and I'd buy it. The intention has always been to use them, but somehow the idea of "ruining" those pristine beautiful books by putting ink on the pages has kept them stacked on shelves or in my bed-side cabinet.

Finally, I actually started using the things a few weeks back. I already have one about a quarter to a third filled with ideas for pieces I want to create...

Part of the jump was spurred by all the stunning pottery and art I've been seeing on Facebook. I'd see a color combo I liked and think "hmmmm, I bet that piece I'm working on would look great with a somewhat similar color combo, maybe add a bit of red highlights, or a touch of, etc., etc... I'll have to remember that". Then three days later start to work on the piece and either forget completely or not remember what colors I'd been thinking about because I'd looked at a hundred pieces since then.

So now I am carrying my idea book with me everywhere. I see a piece of wood hanging on a tree in a certain way and it sparks an idea for a handled piece... ideas come from everywhere... silverware stacked in a certain way, an old print, a piece of metal at a junkyard... now that I have the idea book it seems the ideas are popping up everywhere!

I think that if I live long enough I may just fill up most of my blank books!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Picked up my art from Newnan...

I completely forgot that today was the day to pick up my pottery from the Newnan Fine Arts Centre! They had to call me...

I knew something was rattling around in my brain but was focused on completing some work and didn't bother to check the calendar. Usually I take a quick look on Sunday to gauge what my week will look like. But no, not this week... Poor guy had to sit and wait on me!

I was very pleasantly surprised to get the juror's comments on the three pieces I had entered. They scored the art in 8 areas including originality, emotional content, line quality, modeling of form, color clarity, design quality, attention to detail and value range. 5 was "Outstanding", 1 was poor. One piece was rated 5 in all categories with a comments "One of our favorite pieces in show", "Gorgeous piece", and "Nice variety in textures". The other two were mostly 5's with a few 4 1/2's.

Wow. Nice.

It is very nice to have people I don't know rate my work highly. It gives me that glow which translates into motivation to try harder! Now if any of those three pieces had sold while they were at the Centre it would have been even nicer...

I appreciate the exposure, plus the opening reception was exceptionally nice. I think I would suggest that prices be placed on each of the item cards but I understand I'm not the first to suggest that and it hasn't been done so doubt my two-cents will change anything!

Anyway, the three pieces are in their boxes awaiting the next show. Someday the right person will come along with the right spot and color scheme and give them a home.

p.s. I'm working on improving my photos. I picked up a white background this morning and will be redoing a lot of my pictures. 

Some work to do on this blog...

Switched over from Hummingbird Hollow to this blog. I just took a look at it and it's flat out ugly. I really need to fix it up a bit. Right now I'm having my morning cuppa tea, then heading to the gym. Then I have to do some work, real-world work. Then I'm gong to fix this blog. I'm mainly rambling a bit this morning as I set up feeds last night before I went to bed and was yawning so badly I didn't bother to test them and see if this would go to my Twitter and Facebook pages. So, if you're reading this, sorry, it's truly boring. Snoring boring.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stained glass - almost instant gratification...

If you've followed any of my previous posts you're probably aware that I'm not the most patient type. I want to create a piece of pottery, have it dry before I finish the next one, fill the kiln with all the dried pieces that same day, get the kiln going as I leave for the day and open it when I come back the next!

Working with clay has taught me to be a little more patient --- at least when it comes to creating my pottery pieces! Waiting is the name of the game. From start to finish can take weeks if not months. If you work with clay you have learned a bit of patience.

Now I've started working with stained glass. I'm in the beginning baby-step phase so I'm slower in some areas than I probably will be after I'm comfortable with the idea that I probably won't slice my finger off with that sharp glass. In other ways I'm probably faster as I'm not doing anything intricate or overly involved.

Compared to working with clay, completion of one of my stained glass "masterpieces" (cough, cough) at this point is almost instant gratification! Design, cut, grind, clean, foil, flux, solder, clean, wax. Zip, zip, zip, done!

I know anyone who's bypassed where I am in this process is laughing at that last paragraph, right? No need to write and set me straight, as time goes on and I learn more I'll probably someday cringe that I could have been so naive.

At least right now I don't have to wait weeks and weeks to see the end product once I've started. I've made a few pieces from start to finish in no time. I suppose that if I took out the drying time, the waiting on the kiln to fire and cool times, that the actual time involved in making a piece of pottery compared to making a piece of stained glass art might almost be the same. But I don't have to wait for the glass to cook and cool!

I have fallen in love with making stained glass already. I can't wait to explore this form of art further. I won't share any of my pieces yet. I already know they're the ones that will be relegated to a drawer somewhere someday...the ones I'll look back on and go, "gee, how did I think that looked good?". But I will hold onto them and smile fondly when I find them in the drawer.